SOCIETY
Citizens protest special operations conducted in Bassiani and Café Gallery clubs
12 May, 2018
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs. The participants of the peaceful demonstration condemning special operations conducted in Georgia’s most popular night clubs – Bassiani and Café Gallery gathered in front of the Parliament building, Rustaveli Avenue.
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Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs

Riot police has been mobilized in the vicinity
of the Kashueti Church.

The participants of the rally demand resignation of the high officials of the country. They have following demands: resignation of Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili; resignation of Interior Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia; punishment of each person who is responsible for the special operations conducted in night clubs on May 12 and the issue of political responsibility of the ruling party "Georgian Dream".

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The rally is organized by White Noise Movement

The rally is organized by White Noise Movement. The representatives of various political parties are also present in front of the Parliament. According to them, the police’s behavior last night was quite inadequate.
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According to some politicians, the police’s behavior last night was quite inadequate

Sergi Gvarjaladze, Head of the Tbilisi Night Economics, also expressed his opinion towards the dramatic events of May 12:

“My persistent advice is to provide detailed explanation about yesterday's operation and to launch dialogue with people who have different position, especially the young people who are still struggling for the future of a modern and free country,” stated Sergi Gvarjaladze.
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Sergi Gvarjaladze, Head of the Tbilisi Night Economics

According to him, if obstacles are not overcome, it will be impossible to talk about the development of the night economy.

"My friends, I think it is necessary to reiterate my position about the case. What has happened and what we had been watching for the whole night is absolutely incomprehensible, and I think it's harmful for each of us; first of all, for those who went to the club for dancing, but spent the whole night in a police station or on the street.

This fact also spoils the police reputation, which, I think, could have carried out this operation painlessly. If they had been conducting actions for three months, they could arrest those 8 people in a less crowded place.
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A picture from May 12 special operations

The reputation of our country, which was known as one of the progressive and free countries in the region, has been damaged. Unfortunately, I still have no answers. My persistent advice is to provide detailed explanation about yesterday's operation and to launch dialogue with people who have different position, especially with the young people who are still struggling for the future of a modern and free country. It is obvious that if obstacles are not overcome, it will be impossible to talk about the development of the night economy," Sergi Gvarjaladze posted.

President's Parliamentary Secretary said every fact related to the special operation should be studied in detail.

"What we saw in Tbilisi yesterday makes it clear that all facts related to the special operation should be studied in detail, including in the parliamentary format,"said President's Parliamentary Secretary Ana Natsvlishvili.
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President's Parliamentary Secretary Ana Natsvlishvili

According to her, the MPs should define the format.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs has the obligation to fight against illegal drugs and this fight should be ongoing effectively and permanently. But what we saw in yesterday's special operation in Tbilisi, the footage released or the information spread by the Ministry of Internal Affairs shows that all the facts and circumstances relating to the special operation should be studied quickly, impartially and in detail, including the necessity of conducting the special operation at the time and on the place it was conducted. Questions should be answered including in the parliamentary format. Citizens plan to organize a peaceful demonstration today. The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Ministry of Internal Affairs should ensure it. We hope that every state agency will fulfill its role and responsibility and will do their best to ensure that citizens can enjoy unlimited access to their constitutional rights," Natsvlishvili said.
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A picture from May 12 events

According to her, the Presidential Administration will carefully monitor today’s action by the order of the President.

White Noise Movement held a press conference today, announcing that permanent protests would be launched with the request of resignation of high officials.

"From now on, with the participation of the community, we are starting a principled struggle to show the authorities that power belongs to us, citizens, society, people and not to officials, puppet regimes or shameful politicians who have recently been busy only with discrediting common sense and the people who are struggling for a healthy future of this country”, said Beka Tsikarishvili, a member of White Noise Movement, who has been detained during special operation conducted on May 12 and released today.
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Beka Tsikarishvili, a member of White Noise Movement

According to him, their demands are the following: “First - Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili should immediately step down; Second - Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, whouses violence against people, should resign; Third - all persons responsible for the violent operation of the black Friday of May 12th should be punished; Fourth - we call on the politicians in the government, who are still on the side of people, to distance themselves from the government's wrong course, because we are raising the issues of political responsibility of the Georgian Dream".
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Three citizens detained in Batumi

The demonstration was also held in Batumi, the capital of Georgia's Adjara Region, where three citizens were detained. The detainees were taken to the police department. The rally participants marched on Abashidze Street and moved to 6 May Park.

According to the protesters, their friends were detained unjustly during the peaceful process. They plan to hold large-scale protests.

Protesters in Batumi are protesting against the special operation carried out in Tbilisi and express solidarity to the supporters of the White Noise Movement.

As a reminder, Georgia’s most popular night clubs Bassiani and Café Gallery, the major venues of Tbilisi's night life, were raided by police and special forces last night, May 12.
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Demonstration in Batumi

As reported, the police entered the night clubs at around 1 am. Several hundred clubbers gathered outside both locations, telling journalists that police officers used disproportionate measures against them. As the witnesses say, the raid caused massive panic among the clubbers. As noted, the special operation at Tbilisi top night clubs was part of the government’s response to address the increasing drug-related deaths over the past two weeks.

According to the official information, 8 drug dealers were detained in a special operation in the Basiani and Gallery night clubs last night.

Related stories:

Night raid in Bassiani and Café Gallery – What happened at Georgia’s most popular clubs

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